What a time we had in L.A. at the first Dixie Jewels swap meet of 2016! The winter Dixie Jewels swap was held in L.A. (Lower Alabama) at the Butler County Fairgrounds, located in Greenville, Alabama, on Saturday, February 20. Roy Hale was our gracious host, and as always, he did a fantastic job. Thank you Roy!
While there is always a worry about what the weather might do in February, it couldn’t have been more pleasant on the day of the swap meet with partly cloudy skies and temperatures in the low 70’s. The spring peepers (tiny little early spring tree frogs) were in good voice in the nearby wetlands. Insulator collectors were in good voice also, as there was lots of great fellowship. There were quite a few tables full of insulators for sale or trade and quite a few insulators went home with new owners.
I often make the point that Dixie Jewels members are well-known around the insulator hobby because we support so many insulator events with our presence. We had collectors from seven states in Greenville.
It was a real pleasure to get to visit with some folks that came a bit further than our southeastern Dixie Jewels members. I believe the prize for the most distance traveled went to our friend Jim Hoffman, from Cedar Rapids, Iowa. Jim reported the weather was a bit better in Lower Alabama than back home. He hadn’t been to an insulator show in four months and just thought he’d drop by.
Jim wasn’t the only long-distance guest. Jeff and Anne Markwart, from Pearland, Texas were also there, having decided to take a little road trip in their Corvette. It is always a delight to spend time with the Markwarts. Jeff picked up a sweet little multi-part that’ll be a nice addition to his porcelain collection. Ann was thrilled to find a “two-tone” Hemingray-42 on the free table. I told her that I’ll look forward to seeing it in a future “Insulator of the Month” feature in Crown Jewels.
I don’t want to short-change any Dixie Jewels “regulars” either. Many of them made some pretty long trips to get to Greenville. Dave Kingston and Jeff Kraemer drove over from South Carolina; Paul and Betty Deriso came up from Fleming Island, Florida; Gary and Elizabeth Tilson and Bill and Candy Haley came down from Tennessee; Cal and Barbara Baker represented North Carolina; and there were a good number of folks from Georgia and Alabama.
Rick Soller has suggested a challenge for the 2016 National in Muncie, Indiana this July. All entries must be Hemingray-made insulators. Some Dixie Jewels members brought possible entries and we had fun at the Greenville swap looking at our club’s “contenders”. There will be five parts to the challenge. Each person doesn’t necessarily need to have an entry in each category. Maybe you have just one, but it is a prize-winner. If you are not going to the NIA National show in Muncie, perhaps you could loan that insulator to someone who will be there. The categories are listed below:
1). Most dots following the year date on a clear date- marked insulator. Example: 49::::. = 9 dots. Paul Deriso is the leader with a CD165 Hemingray-20 with 17 dots! Bill Haley brought a CD214 with 13 dots.
2). Most drip points. Roy Hale had a Muncie with 97 drip points, to claim top position. Second best was a CD151 H.G. Co. with 72 drips.
3). Most letters in an embossing. Punctuation and num- bers don’t count. Bill Haley had a CD168 with 35 letters.
4). Heaviest Hemingray / No. 9 , the one with Patent / May 2, 1893 on the reverse. Dudley Ellis had the heaviest (Sorry, I can’t remember the exact weight).
5). Most dome glass. A CD133 H.G. Co. owned by Bill Haley was tops at 1 3/16” of dome glass. Dudley had a Hemi No. 9 that was a close second.
Plan to bring any contenders to the May swap. There will be a prize of some sort for the club with the highest score at the National.
Speaking of challenges; I would like to suggest a little challenge for all our members. If you’ve enjoyed reading my two-part story about the building of the Transcontinental Railroad, please consider submitting an article of your own for a future newsletter. I would welcome any insulator-related or historical articles for The Dixie Jewel. It doesn’t have to be long, and it doesn’t have to be strictly historical. It could be news of a recent find, an interesting hunt or antique mall find, or maybe a story about your particular insulator specialty. If you are unsure of your grammer, I’ll be glad to proofread and suggest possible changes. Of course the last say will be yours before I publish it. I’ll be waiting for submissions. I would love to feature your article in the August issue!
Our club has recently made two $100 donations. One was to support Bill Meier, the webmaster of insulators.info and the ICON listserve. Bill’s website contains a wealth of information and he helps publicize all our DJIC swaps as well as shows around the country.
The other donation went to Howard and Linda Banks, editors of Crown Jewels of the Wire magazine. They have an “Insulators for Kids” program, where they send out a box of insulators to any youngster who has an interest in the hobby as long as an adult pays the shipping charges. The $100 donation will be used to buy purple insulators so they can put at least one in each box. I suspect many future collectors are encouraged to continue in the hobby when they receive such a package.
Mark your calendars now and plan to be in Mountain Home, North Carolina on Saturday, May 21. We always have a good turnout there! Host will be Fred Pittman.
Lastly, my condolences to Glenn Drummond on the passing of his wife Sandra, who he has taken care of for the past several years.
– Bill Haley, President, DJIC